Additional insurance-claim evidence

New evidence corroborates my earlier study showing that life-insurance claims in covid-first-wave are in line with historic trend

I had earlier published an analysis of life insurer death-claims pertaining to covid-first-wave. While my data was limited to 9M-FY21 (April-Dec 2020), it covered a majority of first-wave deaths. Evidence showed that growth in insurance death-claims was in line with or even slightly lower than historic trend.

I since found two additional pieces of evidence, extending to all of FY21 (April-20 to March-21). First is claims data of government-supported PMJJBY life insurance scheme. This offers Rupees 2 lakh life insurance cover to anyone aged 18-50 with a bank account for a one-time payment of Rupees 330. Policies are sold by banks, with ~80% of policies administered by private insurers and rest by LIC. This is a massive scheme, with 103 million people enrolled. While this age cohort accounts for ~20% of covid deaths, it also accounts for a similar proportion of all-cause-mortality, making it useful to see how FY21 compares to historic trend. As data (shaded red) shows, % of FY21 claims to policies remained similar to FY20. If you allow for some March-2020 claims shifting from FY20 to FY21 (year-end lockdown disruption), FY21 trend was likely lower than FY20 and in line with FY19 as well.

Second evidence is that Life Council (industry body under IRDAI) published that 25,500 covid-related death claims were approved during FY21 (technically, till March 25). While this number could be slightly higher till March-31, delta is likely small since Life Council subsequently said same number was 29,300 as of May 15th. A rudimentary comparison shows covid-linked life insurance claims to be roughly proportional to covid-linked deaths.

Above evidence is broadly consistent with what I found in an earlier analysis of India’s life insurer death-claims (https://buggyhuman.substack.com/p/a-study-of-insurer-death-claims-during). During India’s covid-first-wave, insurance death-claims data do not show any material deviation from their prior trend.